Well, this past year, I was an assistant dance teacher. I did it last year as well, but, and it may be because I had more classes this year, I have more momories from this group. However, I did have the same group of girls from last year plus. Ah, and the middle school girls... they're all like my sisters! Every annoying ounce of Logan and Elizabeth, and every sweet ounce of Daniell and Takishia!
There were some great memories in it. Of course, some of the girls were very hatful, like Landry. You see, Megan (the teacher) would have to leave at the begining of class to file away checks or make a phone call or two, typically to parents or some of the pre-teen girls (Logan being the main one here...). So, I'd sit the girls down in a circle and do some simple stretches with them. And, I'd have all the girls but Landry sitting down, with their feet in the middle, or something like that... (they were supose to have their feet in the middle. just... didn't always happen... come on, some of these girls were 2-year-olds). i'd look at Landry, and I'd say "Landry, would you please sit down?"
Landry would look me dead in the eyes with her bright blue eyes, and say: "No!"
"Landry, please sit down. Miss Megan wants us to stretch."
"Landry, please sit down. I'll tell Miss Megan you were being bad and she won't give you candy."
So, I was always relieved when Megan would come in and save me...
Of course, there were stories like Caroline's. Caroline was this sweet-looking red-head girl, usually with a big bow, and usually with a smile on her face. I think we had just got done changing into our tap shoes, and everyone got on her spot, expect Caroline. So, I went over to her, since Megan was busy with the other girls, and asked her nicely to come to her spot, please. She raised up her hand and her middle finger. A first-grader flipped me off. I took a deep breath and decided it was best not to bring it up to Megan, nor was it my place to punish her. I figured she probably didn't know what it meant anyways. So, I told her that was not a nice thing to do, and "come on, let's go dance."
After dance I made sure I figured out which mother was hers. As soon as I did, I walked up to her and explained what happen. Her mother started saying "Oh! I'm so sorry! I didn't know she knew that! It was probably her cousins. she's got some teenage cousins, and every time she comes back from seeing them, she does something wrong. I'm so sorry! I promise it won't happen again!" And I told her it was alright, that I figured she probably really didn't know what it meant, so I didn't get to mad at her, and just thought I should let you know. Megan didn't learn 'till much later on that this happened.
Next week, when Caroline came to dance, she ran up to me and gave me a huge hug! She told me she was sorry, and from then on, we were like best friends. The first thing she'd do when she came to class was come and give me a huge hug, and most of the times she'd start telling me about her doggy! Such a sweet little girl, though I fear I see how as she grows up, she would easily loose that sweetness... but, she'll always be the sweet little girl who came and gave me hugs and loved her dog, who died :(
There was also the 2-year-old who's mother always and forever would gone on about how smart her child was! And, to tell you the true, she seemed no smarter than the other kids. But, she wouldn't dance, and couldn't seem to learn the stuff. And, she'd always ask to go to the bathroom, and take forever! Then, I saw her smartness! You see, I had to take her to the bathroom, and I'd have to wait 'till whichever little girl was done and help her... talk about awkward... expecially with this girl (whose name escapes me at the moment). You see, I'd be in there helping her, and every time she'd look me dead in the eye and ask me "What's your name?" (just alittle more choppier than that) Everytime. But, I finally realized what she was doing. She didn't like dance. She didn't like it at all. And, she discovered that if she asked to go to the bathroom, we'd take her. And, she discovered that if she took a really long time, then she would miss an intire dance! And, if she did it just right, she'd miss the begining of the next one! Haha. well, on stage she didn't know what to do and started crying :(. Part of me wants to say "she got what she diseavered. Muwhahahahaha", but I like the little girl, so I won't say it. If I wasn't busiy with Riley (though I think that was another class) I would have been there by her at the stage.
There was also Jessica (pictured with me above, or where ever that picture goes... btw, feel special, i normally don't put pics up of me online). Jessica went to church with me. I realized this around Halloween. Her costume that she wore to dance for our party and the one she wore to the trunk-or-treat is one that just stands out. A little fairy princes with a bag of glitter and a painted face. That's when I realized it, and I told her parents. Ever since then, whenever she saw me at church, she'd point at me and say "I remember you from dance!" and at dance, she'd point at me and say "I remember you from church!" I've had the previlage of drawing a picture for her for her 4th birthday. I'm also being paid to draw a baby picture of her for her parent's aniversery: a surprise for her mom. Such a sweet child.
But, all in all, there's been one truly rewarding memory that will forever stand out in my mind! As they say, save the best for last.
There was this little girl named Riley (mentioned above). She came later in the year, so she didn't have as much time to bond with the girls. Also, she was only going to be in 2 dances instead of 3 (lack of costume). Serveral weeks before recital, she would start to cry every time she would come to dance. She wanted her mommy! So, that first day that she cried, it was my job to scoop her up in my arms, carry her into the other room, and rock her, and comfert her, and be her friend. I held on to the sweet child tight, and when she calmed down a bit, I asked her if she liked dance. "....no..." Well, I got to talking about the big stage and how she got to dance with all the girls in the class, and how I was going to be the only one, and she asked me some simple questions about it like "why?" and "do you like dance?" I told her I love to dance. Then I took her over to look at the costumes she was going to get to wear, and she liked that. I told her she would have to dance to wear them though, but she told me she didn't want to dance.
ever since then, she wouldn't dance. Well, she didn't dance before either... but, I didn't really notice her before 'cause she's alot like i was: quite, thus a shadow. I noticed her to some extent, but more as the newer girl. But, I'd look over her way to see if she was dancing, and she'd be looking at me, and as soon as I looked at her, she'd start fake crying, trying to get me to hold her again. aww... poor girl. but, of course, I couldn't hold her. Well, there was one time she was crying so bad (real cry) that I had to hold her and dance at the same time...
Come time for recital, the dress-rehersal, she was crying as we were putting her on the stage. Megan asked me to sit in the curtain right beside her. I was so close to her, I could have reached out and touched her (was still hidden from the audience though). Well, I would have sat there regardless of what Megan said. The whole time durning that first dance, all she did was cry. as soon as the curtains closed, I gathered her up into my arms. "You didn't dance."
"I didn't see mommy!" she said through her tears.
"You're mommy was watching you! she wanted to see you dance!"
"I couldn't see her!" This poor girl was just balling out. So, I carried her back to her dressing room, telling her it was alright, and reasuring her that her mom had been out there.
As soon as we got to the room, I spotted her mom and handed her off. Her mother said "I saw you up there! Why didn't you dance?"
"I couldn't see you!"
"I was in the first row! I was waving too you!" Her mom started comferting her, and i dashed off to get ready for my next dance, otherwise they'd have been yelling at me.
Her second dance, she stood in the same spot, and i sat in the same spot. She started off crying again, but then I noticed she started waving and laughing. I knew she spotted her mom! Then she started dancing. She didn't know the dances, and though Megan was hiding in a wing further up from me doing the dances infront of them, she decided she was going to do her own thing. Not much, though, just a jump here and there and a laugh. After the curtains closed, me and Meagan (not Megan, Maegan, aka Mae Mae) started telling her how great she did!
Then the day of the recital! I sat there beside her again durning the first dance, and she danced the whole way through, doing as best as she could to do what the other girls were doing! And smiling! A real smile! Not "oh, Miss Megan told me to smile, so I'm smiling". But, no! A real, "I'm having the time of my life" smile! When the curtain closed I got on stage and told her how good she did (though I got yelled at for confusing the middle-school girls who were doing the dances with me). And in the second dance "You've got a friend in me" she danced as well, doing her best! At the very end, all the girls have to hug a partner. Because some girls were switched around and because Rilay normally didn't feel like hugging, she, and another little girl on the other side of the stage, got left out. They looked at each other, then the other little girl ran and made a three-way hug. So, poor Riley was left alone. I almost freaked out and wanted to run on stage to fill in (but I knew I couldn't). Then she did the cutist thing EVER!
She didn't lose her cool one second! She put herself into this really cute pose (one that's actually a fairly common dance pose that I was surprised she knew) and had this look of "I'm supose to be in this pose! A hug? Are you kidding? They're all doing it wrong. Their supose to pose like this! Heck yes! I'm know what I'm doing!" It was sooooooo cute, and soooo amazing, 'cause I've seen grown dancers who'll get in a sitituation like that and they just freak and, in a since, ruin the dance. But, no! That was not for her! And that, that pose, will always be with me, and how much she changed, and seeing the joy in her smiling face!